Last night I had ice hockey practice #2. (Unfortunately Tina wasn't able to make it, so no photos. Wah.) I had a great time, yet again. We did some tougher drills where the instructor had us doing stuff like moving in circles, skate-over-skate, followed by running sideways, skate-over-skate. By some miracle I didn't fall and actually got very comfortable skating on my blades' edges.
About 25 minutes into the practice we did that backwards drill again where we had to move our feet in and out, making "hour glass" shapes. And of course I finished last like the previous practice, so I started to get realy frustrated with myself. This was followed by a pounding headache on each of my temples.
As we moved into other drills, the frustration went away, but the headache didn't. That's when I realized my helmet was too tight. I really thought my brains were going to be squeezed through my eye sockets. I quickly pulled my helmet off between drills and the pain instantly stopped. Of course I didn't have a screw driver, so I couldn't adjust the helmet's tension. But removing it for a minute really helped.
Once I snapped the helmet back in place, I rejoined the group for our next drill: skating backwards down the blue line, stopping, running sideways skate-over-skate to the next red line, skating forward, running sideways skate-over-skate to the next blue line and skating backwards down that line.
I sighed and made my way to the first blue line. Facing the boards, I pushed off my right skate, then my left. Holy crap!! I was skating backwards!!! I have no idea what changed between the last practice and this one, but I was stunned. Then I placed my stick in front of myself and tried to keep my head up.
Granted, I wasn't breaking any speed records, but still. It was just amazing that I was doing it at all!
After I completed the next sections and was making my way backwards down the next blue line, the instructor came over. "Liz, look at you!" she exclaimed. "You'll be ready for a team soon, no problem. You're picking it up so fast!"
I grinned at her and finished moving down the line.
We scrimmaged for the last 20 minutes again. This time I didn't fall at all. In fact, I was a lot more aggressive and stable. At one point the puck came at me and bounced off the inside of my right skate and rested between my legs. Unlike last time, I immediately skated backwards, pushed the puck out and passed it to one of my teammates.
Thanks to Tina, I'm not too bad at shooting and passing. We had bought a net, street hockey balls and sticks to practice in the driveway not too long ago. Tina demonstrated how I should use the stick to aim where I want to shoot the ball/puck. This lesson definitely came in handy last night.
Towards the end of the scrimmage, I found myself in another similar situation to last week. I was chasing the puck full force and caught up to one of my opponents that had it. Rather than slamming into her, I skidded to a stop and knocked the puck away with my stick. Woo hoo!!!
I was sad when practice was over, but I wasn't sorry to take that miserable vice of a helmet off.
The rink has public skating during the middle of the day during the week, so I'm going to try and go up during lunch later this week. I really want to work on skating backwards and stopping. My goal is to be good enough for a D team by next season.
So that's that! Round 2 complete! I love it!!!